While browsing through this interim GAO report (.pdf, via the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs) on Coalition Support Funds reimbursed to Pakistan for its antiterrorism operations in the FATA, I was surprised to see that the amount of requests for reimbursement that were denied spiked from $5 million to $25 million in February 2007. That’s almost a third of the monthly operational expenses that Pakistan was “billing” to the program at the time. Almost as surprising was the fact that the amount of reimbursements that were denied immediately dipped back down to roughly $15 million by June 2007 (the latest date for the figures).
That got me launching a hasty Google News search, which reminded me that February 2007 was when Dick Cheney paid his unannounced, pit stop visit to Islamabad to tear Pervez Musharraf out a new one. Days later, of course, Pakistan announced it had seized a Taliban leader, and within a few months it had announced a new counterterrorism agreement with the Afghan government.
Of course, the bulk of the money was still turned over, for operations that have had no real strategic impact on the effort to eradicate Taliban and al-Qaida bases in the area. But at least now we have an actual price tag on what Pakistan’s half-hearted media stunts are worth.